FORMER MOKIS STAR
Former Mokis star speaks on his illness. “Boyoyo” Mathe (left) with a colleagu Bongani Ndlovu/Mkhululi Ncube Showbiz Reporters POPULAR rhumba musician Themba “Boyoyo” Mathe, who once fronted the famed Mokis Connection, suspects that the band owner Morgan Ncube had a hand in him going blind. Boyoyo, who popularised Kalanga music during national music shows such as galas, is the man behind the hit songs Ibhara ngamazinyo, Ndazi Ndazi, Irene, Wafa Wafa mthakathi and Basi Boy.
After parting ways with Mokis Connection in 2013, Boyoyo he has produced six albums and three of those – Nansi Ndoda, Sengi Discover Itsotsi and MaTouch screen – were released after he became blind in 2014. He formed his group Mthimbane Sound Blasters the same year.
Around 2014, he fell ill and after doctors failed to diagnose his ailment, Boyoyo turned to prophets, mapostori and traditional healers who claimed Ncube was the cause of his health challenges.
Like the late Ndux Malax who penned a song, Ibhatshi lika Solomon where Malax sings about the late Solomon Skhuza who had his jacket stolen for the purposes of bewitching, Boyoyo believes what befell the late musician is the same for him save for the fact that he is still alive.
“I visited numerous prophets, mapostori and traditional healers and they all said my sickness is linked to the place that I left (Mokis Connection). When I left Mokis, I left behind my clothes which include jeans, jackets and takkies. All my efforts to get my stuff back from Moki (Ncube) hit a brick wall when I was in South Africa. He was saying I should come personally to collect them,” said Boyoyo.
“When he heard that I was ill he phoned me and said I should personally come and collect my things, but I couldn’t because of my illness. I asked him to send them via a bus but he never did so.”
He said after about five years without contact, Mokis got in touch with him last year to ask him for assistance with an album recording.
“Last year Mokis wanted me to come and assist his band in recording an album. We’d agreed that he was going to come and collect me where I was living, but he never came and from that time I’ve not heard from him again,” said Boyoyo.
He said everything went downhill in his life after leaving the group in 2013.
“My illness befell me a year after I left Mokis and I suffering from chronic headaches. I was bedridden for three years while I was in South Africa and doctors couldn’t see anything wrong with me and in 2013 I became blind.
“My sister from Zimbabwe took me from South Africa to the country where I was attended to at Khami Clinic. I became better but never recovered my sight fully ,” said the soft-spoken Boyoyo.
When Mokis band owner Ncube was contacted for comment, he professed ignorance over the matter.
“As for these allegations that I’ve a hand in his sickness from prophets and traditional healers, I don’t know anything about it. I’m free, if he so wishes we can go together and anyone else to the same people who told him that so that I can answer for myself,” said Ncube.
“Yes, I’ve got his clothes; he left them with me when we travelled for shows in South Africa in 2013. This is where he abandoned me after getting a new sponsor for his solo project. Yes, he sent word for me to send the clothes through buses, but I couldn’t do that as I don’t trust bus conductors”.
He said he had tried to contact Boyoyo during his ill health but hit a brick wall.
“I tried to phone him to hear about his condition but was told that he wasn’t interested in talking to me. I just let it be,” said Ncube.
“In any case Mokis Connection will never collapse because someone has left it. The band is like a company, workers come and go but the company will stand.”
Boyoyo, a father of two, said he was hard at work to release a new six track album in August called Sidla lokhu okukhona.
“The album will feature songs such as Wangi Tsotsa Udayiza, which is about the prevailing drought situation. It urges people to eat whatever is available”.
The Plumtree-based singer said he was still fit and strong to perform for his fans.
“Though I don’t feel any difference when I perform, my fans say my voice has changed. Being blind has only limited what I can do on stage as I could dance and move around more freely when I could see,” said Boyoyo.